We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
"Little Gidding"
T S Eliot

Monday, 31 October 2016

Looking after the pennies ...

I seem to be in the middle of a few lengthy projects, but nothing is yet finished! So, as a break from painting I decided to decorate a moneybox blank, perhaps in the hope I may save a few pennies!

I was taken with my butterfly of butterflies wall plaque (see here), and I had some leftover die-cut butterflies, so went with the same theme.

Stuck all the butterflies on first, then covered in black gesso.  When dry I used a dry sponge (as opposed to dry brush!) to apply irridescent paints, and finished off with some gilding wax.

I protected it with a coat of varnish.

I thought I had used different colours to the plaque, but when I put them side by side ... virtually the same colour palette. Well, at least I'm consistent!

Detail close-up

Now - where are those pennies!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Green remembered days ...

The current Craft Barn challenge letter is V.

As my soul is still in the Scottish Highlands after my recent trip (see previous post), the first word that came to mind was verdant.

I got out my Distress Inks and a selection of stamps and used a brayer for the background, followed by a bit of stamping. I also used a little water to pull some of the ink into the images.

This morning was a little misty, with the sun looking very wistful as if remembering summer - I should probably write a haiku!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

It's all about colour ...

On my current art course (Intermediate Watercolour and Mixed Media), we learned about primary colour layering, which I'm finding fascinating.

Instead of mixing, say, a purple in the palette with red and blue, you mix on the paper. So, the first layer would be red, and when that is dry, you paint blue on top. Because watercolour is transparent you still get purple, but it is more vibrant.

Just making various strengths of primary colours and layering them up can create any colour you desire - but on the paper!

The first session involved creating an abstract painting, using primary layering - amazing! The only colours I had in my palette were yellow, red and blue. I also did the outline with India Ink and a dip pen.

We are now working on a landscape using this method, so watch this space!

I had a fabulous time in the Highlands, it was great seeing my friend and going for walks. The air is so clear and the landscape is so beautiful it hurts.

Just a taste -

Eilean Donan Castle on Loch Duich at Dornie, on the way to Skye

Featured in many films, including Highlander.

Bridge over to Skye

The last time I went to Skye on the ferry, as the bridge hadn't been built!

Glen Affric - National Nature Reserve - stunningly beautiful

Glen Affric again

Back to reality, traffic jams and pollution! but I've got lots of photos for painting inspiration.

Monday, 10 October 2016

A little bird told me ...

The current Paper Artsy challenge is all about die-cuts, a topic close to my heart, as I love the dimension and texture die-cuts can give.

This is a mirror I did a little while ago, starting with some texture paste through a stencil, die-cuts, and bits & bobs from my "maybe I'll keep this" box.

Then lots of acrylic paint - Paper Artsy Fresco - of course! And other bits, including some paper flowers I painted first, and some little butterfly beads.

I'm now all packed for my trip - very early start tomorrow. Must remember to set my alarm!

See you soon, with lots of painting inspiration!

Saturday, 8 October 2016

It can be just black and white ...

The next letter in the Craft Barn's dictionary challenge is E. My first thought was emboss, so I'm going with that!

For a change, I've kept it really simple and used just black and white card, with embossing folders.

There is something quite liberating about creating a project very fast!

I may not be able to visit everyone this time, as I'm going away, but I'll try and catch up later.

Off to bonny Scotland, visiting a friend in the Highlands - hope it's not too cold, but whatever the weather it is stunningly beautiful. Hope to get a few photos for some painting inspiration.

"There are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter."
Billy Connolly

Saturday, 1 October 2016

A drop of red, a pinch of blue ...

For the first couple of sessions on my Intermediate Watercolour and Mixed Media course we mixed more colours, using a nine primary colour wheel.

For the beginner's course we used a six primary colour wheel - cool and warm of red, yellow and blue. Now we have added neutral red, yellow and blue - created by mixing both reds, both yellows and both blues together.

I hope you are following this ...

So now, I have created a new chart - this one is bright secondary and sub-secondary colours and complements. Mixing different quantities of the six tubes of paint we used in the beginners course; though I have now purchased some larger tubes of paint as I realise that only using primary colours I get through quite a bit!

This chart is only one of four, but I think I'm going to pass on creating three more, as this one took some time, and quite honestly, gave me a headache trying to work out all the mixes. I now understand the theory, so I'm going to leave it at that!

A very useful exercise though, and proves the point that you only need six tubes of paint.

Hubble bubble - mix it up!

Happy October.